PA Schools that don’t require the GRE (FAQs, Alternatives) | 20226 min read

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Students seeking admission into a PA (Physician Assistant) school often face challenges. First, they have to submit their application for review; then, they sit for the competency examinations, pass the final interview, etc.

However, there is one thing that dreads students the most, which is the GRE.

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) can either increase or decrease one’s chances of gaining entry into a PA school, which gets most candidates scared. A lot of candidates prefer sending applications to PA schools that do not require the GRE (PA schools no GRE). 

PA schools no GRE

What is GRE? 

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a prerequisite test required by many institutions for students seeking admission.

It is also a standardized examination that assesses a student’s preparedness and qualifications to be admitted into a school’s program. The GRE works in line with your PA school application and can also determine if one should be accepted or not. 

Moreover, the exam evaluates candidates on various subject matters as well as their knowledge of basic skills. Subjects to expect from a GRE include:

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  • Verbal reasoning 
  • Analytical writing
  • Quantitative reasoning

These are sections/subjects in a typical GRE and are to evaluate your knowledge of data analysis, math, and advanced vocabulary. 

PA schools no GRE

What other exams asides from the GRE be used for a PA school admission? 

The requirement for most PA schools is that candidates take the GRE for admission consideration. The GRE has primarily been the prerequisite for admission to a PA program since the oldie.

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However, the Physician Assistant College Admission Test (PA-CAT) is recently being adopted by schools instead of the GRE.

The PA-CAT is a more specified exam that assesses candidates’ knowledge in PA school subjects. Compared to the general subject matters in the GRE, the PA-CAT is more science-based. The PA-CAT covers sections in the following subjects: 

  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Anatomy
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • General Biology
  • Physiology
  • General and Organic Chemistry
  • Statistics
  • Microbiology

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How to Get into PA School:

Most PA schools don’t publish their acceptance rates, so making a “safety,” “target,” and “reach” list isn’t as simple as visiting their website.

Despite the growing number of PA schools, students must outperform their peers to get into their desired schools. Admission to PA school is as difficult as medical school. A GPA of 3.58 or higher is required to be admitted into PA school.

In the spring, the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) begins, but deadlines differ by school.

You’ll want to start preparing for your applications as soon as possible, partially to avoid losing out on rolling seats and partly to avoid missing deadlines.

PA schools no GRE (Best PA Schools that do not require the GRE)

Admissions to PA schools can get highly competitive. You not only have to perform well in your interviews but also have to get a very high GPA to pass the test.

All these can feel weighty and seem like pressure on your shoulders. So, if you’ve been searching for ways to evade the GRE, then you’re in luck as there are a variety of programs that do not require the GRE as a prerequisite test. 

The following is a list of some of the best PA schools in the US that do not require the GRE, along with a link to their website for more information:

1. University of California, Davis: 

Applications for the PA program are made open every year from late April till August 1 and are available through CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants).

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2. New York Institute of Technology: 

Here, applications are reviewed based on patient care experience, reference letters, cumulative and science GPA, etc. Afterward, personal interviews are conducted with qualified candidates, which will determine admission.

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3. Cuny School of Medicine: 

CUNY does not disqualify candidates who submit transcripts with credit or pass marks from Spring courses or pre-requisite courses that were converted to virtual courses. In addition, the GRE is not required.

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Read more: Top 5 Accredited Physician Assistant (PA) Schools in Illinois

PA schools no GRE

4. Eastern Virginia Medical School: 

Evaluation of candidates for admission into their PA Program is based on four approaches, namely; personal, academic, community service, and healthcare experience.

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5. Touro University, California: 

To be considered eligible for admission into their PA program, you must be a permanent resident in the United States and have three letters of recommendation (to be submitted alongside the CASPA application).

Completion of all pre-requisite coursework must be done before the CASPA primary application is submitted.

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6. University of Wisconsin, Madison: 

University of Wisconsin, Madison seeks applicants dedicated to clinical practice, great academic background, high level of maturity and professionalism, etc.

Their minimum requirements are; a cumulative GPA of 3.20, completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited school, and a maximum of only two outstanding prerequisites during application.

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PA schools no GRE

7. Drexel University: 

Drexel University offers a master’s program in Health Science- Physician Assistant without the requirement of the GRE. Graduates of the program are qualified to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) afterward.

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8. Stony Brook University: 

Requirements for admission into their PA program include; a minimum grade of C in subjects such as Statistics, Organic chemistry, Microbiology, Genetics, Anatomy, Physiology, etc, have a cumulative CASPA Science Grade Point Average of 3.0, and also earn a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution before the interview.

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9. University of Colorado: 

The University of Colorado was founded in 1968, and its PA program is ranked as one of the top PA programs in the United States.

The program is available at the master’s level and prepares graduates for comprehensive medical care provided to patients of all ages.

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10. University of Utah: 

Although the Utah PA Program recently moved to online learning due to the pandemic, they accept online coursework from accredited institutions and colleges within that geographical area. 

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Frequently Asked Questions on PA schools no GRE:

How long is a PA program?

The average length of a master’s program is three academic years or around 26 months. Clinical rotations are part of the curriculum, as are classroom lessons.

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What is the easiest PA school to get into?

Barry University Physician Assistant School
Loma Linda University Physician Assistant School
Marquette University Physician Assistant School
Midwestern University Physician Assistant Schoo
Missouri State University Physician Assistant School

Is PA School Hard?

PA school can be intimidating, but it’s merely the beginning of a far more demanding career. Exam preparation is the easy part.

What is a competitive GPA for PA school?

Academically, Physician Assistant (PA) schools are quite challenging. A 3.0 to 4.0 GPA is the norm at the best colleges. Although admissions criteria vary, most PA schools require a certain quality point average to be met.

Conclusion

Getting admitted into a PA school is a competitive accomplishment because the qualifications and requirements expected from the applicants are so rigorous.

The existence of the GRE, alongside other admission requirements, ensures that future PAs are well trained, qualified, and competent to function as healthcare providers.

So, if you’re thinking about getting into PA school and want to evade the GRE, consider programs and institutions that don’t require the standardized GRE test.

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